Kansas vs. NC Central/UC-Davis: 2017 March Madness Preview

Frank Mason III of the Kansas Jayhawks goes up for a shot in a game against Iowa States on February 4. (Getty)

The Big 12 tournament didn’t end as anticipated for the Kansas Jayhawks.

A stunning 85-82 loss to TCU in the quarterfinals of the tournament sent the Jayhawks back home and put their chances at a No. 1 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament into question.

But the loss didn’t effect the selection committee’s thoughts, as Kansas received a No. 1 seed in the tournament for the fifth time in the past eight years.

The Big 12 regular season champions bring another loaded cast into the tournament led by senior Frank Mason III. Mason is averaging 20.8 points, 5.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game as the Jayhawks head into the tournament. Before the TCU blemish on its record, Kansas had won eight straight games dating back to February 6.

As a No. 1 seed, the Jayhawks will start another run at an NCAA championship when they play in the Round of 64 against the winner of a First Roung game in Dayton, Ohio between North Carolina Central Eagles and the University of California-Davis Aggies. It’s the Aggies’ first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, while the Eagles are in the tournament for the second time.

NC Central and UC-Davis will play Wednesday at 6:40 PM EST for the right to play the Jayhawks in the Round of 64.

Here’s a look at the Jayhawks’ potential opening matchup and game details:

REGION: Midwest

DATE: Friday, March 17

LOCATION: Tulsa, Oklahoma

TIME: 6:50 p.m. EST


LIVE STREAM INFO: CBS offers live streams of every game on March Madness Live. For games on TNT, TBS or TruTV a cable login will be required.

Kansas at a Glance

RECORD: 28-4 overall (16-2 Big 12)

LOCATION: Lawrence, Kansas


COACH: Bill Self

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Frank Mason III (20.8 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, .487 3pt%), Josh Jackson (16.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG, .1.1 BPG), Devonte’ Graham (13.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, .424 FG%), Landen Lucas (7.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, .642 FG%), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (9.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, .401 3pt%)

NC Central at a Glance

RECORD: 25-8 (13-3 Mid-Eastern)

LOCATION: Durham, North Carolina


COACH: LeVelle Moton

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Patrick Cole (19.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 5.7 APG), Dajuan Graf (14.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.2 APG, .491 FG%), Kyle Benton (8.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.3 BPG)

UC Davis at a Glance

RECORD: 22-12 (11-5 Big West)

LOCATION: Davis, California

CONFERENCE: Big West Conference

COACH: Jim Les

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Brynton Lemar (16.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.6 APG), Chima Moneke (14.4 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.5 BPG), Siler Schneider (10.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG), Lawrence White (1.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG)